Heifer pictures... opinions please...

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Which picture will work the best...


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TJ

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Opinions please...

What do you think about these 4 pictures of this weanling show heifer?  Poll above.  Honest opinions please.  

***Edited to note... If I cropped at least one of them, I think it would help.  What do you think?***

Thanks,
TJ
 

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Jill

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I'm not sure what your doing with the picture, but #1 is the only picture the heifer looks natural in, she doesn't look set up correctly in the other 3.  I would crop#1 and get rid of some of the background, but heifer looks really good in the picture, nice heifer.
 

knabe

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it's pretty easy to tell that picture #1 is the only pic with the sun at your back.  the others are into the sun.  look at the shadows.  excellent demonstration of why black cattle are so hard to take pictures of, especially with settings on auto.  this can be corrected by only two methods, get the sun to your back, or take a light reading off the body of the animal and change the camera to manual and change the speed.  even then, the pic will come out bad, as the background will look unnatural.
 

knabe

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i forgot to add that a flash, even in daylight will lighten up the shadows in pic one on the heifer.  with the new digital camera's read where the effective flash length is on the flash.  some of them are dismally short, like 10 feet.  gladly, they have hookups for external flashes.  alternatively, one can choose the angle of the sun to take the pic, usually in early morning or late evening, when the sun will light up these areas.  you could also just get a cheap free standing lamp.  probably you don't have much help to do the photo's since she's tied up, but my recommendation would be to get her away from the fence and frame them so their topline has a constant color behind them so their topline is not interrupted by two different colors, usually a horizon works well for this.
 

jason

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1st one looks the best.  If you need any helping cropping everything out of the background let me know.  I have to work with photoshop quite a bit for work.
 

CPL

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Go with one. Congratulations that is a nice calf. Is she a lowline?
 

dori36

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TJ said:
Opinions please...

What do you think about these 4 pictures of this weanling show heifer?  Poll above.  Honest opinions please. 

***Edited to note... If I cropped at least one of them, I think it would help.  What do you think?***

Thanks,
TJ

I'd agree with others on number 1.  But, I maybe would shoot it again without the pink halter and adjusted to be  not in th e heifers eye area.  Maybe lower the head just a little.  I also like Kknabe's observation that the sun, if it's out, needs to be behind you.  I'd like to see a black rope halter on her so it doesn't detract from the head/neck.  Nice heifer, btw.
 

TJ

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Thanks everybody!  (clapping)  I will try to reply to everyone individually. 
 

OH Breeder

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Really like the number one shot. The halter doesn' tbother me at all. I think she is standing really good. Great lines and nice depth of body. Really like her.
 

Telos

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TJ-  She's a good one. What do they call those kind... practically efficient. Think picture number 1 is the best shot, but she looks good in all the pictures.
 

Freddy

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This is a very nice heifer , No. 1 is your best picture now, I don;t know if you have a digital camera, or a photolab but with with my  adobe  photo program you could lighten the other three pictures up an maybe even help the no. 1 picture.  Black cattle are very hard to photogragh, one thing that Ilike to see is there eyes an other parts of there head,    Back ground is important an I try to use a shutter speed that catchs your critter first an fades the back ground. Some people are removing the halters from the animal with the use of a photoshop on their computers. Sometimes when your advertising with pictures , a poor picture can do you more damage than good, an I speak from experience.  Now  I am no expert or had any education on it, just trying to learn from watching others an experimenting.
 

TJ

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A few things...

1st, I purposely didn't give too many of my own thoughts about the pics or what I planned to do with these pics so that I would get more critical opinions.  Looks like it worked & I thank you for offering them! 

2nd, I want to point out that I was in a big hurry & that's why I elected to use the halter so that I could snap a few quick ones.  However, I did take a couple of minutes to blow her off a little 1st.  Being in a hurry & taking pictures is never a good combination!! 

3rd, I really liked things about all these pictures, but I wasn't overly blown away with any of them & I didn't know if others would like what I liked.  So, I wanted to seek out other opinions.  That way I would know for sure which one to send out.  My favorite was #1 & it had the best sunlight, but I didn't like her standing with the halter across her face and if I had made her stand the other direction while still in the sunlight, she would've been standing slightly downhill, which I didn't want either.  I thought that #1, while certainly not perfect, was the best comprise, but I didn't think that the others were all that bad, just not that great. 

4th, The comments in this thread were not only beneficial to me, but I think that many others on this board, could benefit by reading all of the comments in this thread about taking cattle pics, etc... just a lot of good advice from everyone!!  Once again, thank you!!

5th, I now know not to even think about using any of them in a big promotional ad, as is, but that wasn't really my main purpose when I was taking them.  I'm going to crop #1 & send it out.  If I can get it cropped & maybe edited, it might be better for usage on a website, AD, etc.

6th, I am certainly not a professional photographer, but I enjoy taking my own cattle pics.  Because I am not a pro, I am always happy to get helpful tips from others & hope that I can keep on learning & getting better & better at it. 


Jill... The main purpose of these pics is that I have somebody who is very interested in this heifer & needed to send some pics of her to some other people too.  So mostly I was looking for a pic to send out with an email attachment, but I might use a small version of pic #1 on a website, etc., especially cropped & maybe some editing.  BTW, I agree with you about the heifer looking better in #1 & I also agree that cropping it would help it a lot.  Thank you for reassuring me!!  As I mentioned above,  I really don't like her halter across her face in pic #1 & as Dori mentioned it is pulling it up too much toward her eye.  Off course, besides the halter issue, the gate in the background isn't the best either, but without someone to hold her & since I couldn't tie her to the electric fence, it was the best option at the time & it was fast too, which was important.   

Knabe... Thanks for the really good advice RE the flash, etc.  I've got a few light stands & probably should've used them... it wouldn't have taken that long to run an extention cord & set them up... I do think that would really help & I'll remember that for future reference.    I agree that good lighting is important.  I also agree about the background, but as I mentioned, lack of time & help was a big issue here & at that location we use all electric fencing, so the gate was the only good place to tie her.  I will try for a better one in the future.

Jason... Thanks.  I appreciate it & I may contact you to see what you could do, etc.  I really need to break down & buy a photoshop program, etc.  Maybe if I sell this heifer I can do some computer/program upgrading that I've been wanting to do.  ;)  BTW, my buddy is starting up a website for Railroad Antique Actions & Sales & if it takes off like we think it might (so far, it's getting lots of interest), we will both have to learn a lot more about modern technology. 

CPL... Thanks!  Yes, she is a fullblood (100%) Lowline.  6 1/2 months old in the picture.  She is also a daughter of my bull to the left, BCC Doc Holliday 04P.

showfordough... Thanks!
 
Dori...  Thanks!  I agree with you that the halter is a bit distracting in picture #1, especially since I took the pic of the exhibitors side of the heifer.  A black halter (I have several at the other barn) probably would have helped blend into the heifer better.  I don't think it distracts too much in the other pics, but I agree that a solid black one would blend in better.  BTW, I really like pink halters on heifers while in the display area... maybe I'm a bit weird, but I like them... probably not the best for pics though.  I also agree about it pulling up too close to the eye in pic #1 & I probably should've adjusted it down a little, but those halters are bad about doing that, I was in a hurry & I really wasn't paying too much attention...  One thing about a pic... it will tell on you!!  (lol)  If I had more time, I may have tried the head at different heights & that is certainly a very good point to consider & glad that you mentioned it, but I was in a big hurry (I know you shouldn't take them when you are in a big hurry), so I just tied her up & it looked good enough.  It will have to do for now, but in a week or 2 when things slow down & I catch a sunny day, I may attempt to take a better one... maybe even out in a lot without the halter. 

farmboy... Thanks!  I really like pink halters on heifers.  I tend to agree with you, except for pic #1.  However, cropping & possibly editing, could probably help reduce that distraction factor in #1. 

Thanks again everyone for stepping up & offering advice.  I had a hunch about it being #1, but I wanted assurance & knew that I'd get really good advice on here.  ;)  You guys & gals are all A+++ in my book!  (clapping)  If anybody else wants to chime in, that would be greatly appreciated too.   

 

TJ

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Oh Breeder & Telos...

Thanks!  The compliments regarding the heifer mean a lot coming from the 2 of you! 


Freddy... Thanks!  I just have a basic digital camera & don't even know how to use all the functions... I just know enough to get a picture taken with it  a few minor tricks.  My buddy is actually a photography expert with a high dollar camera, but he works 3rd shift, lives 20-25 miles away & always stays very busy, so we can't ever seem to get on the same page.  I am hoping to get a good photo editing program & hopefully I can become pretty good at it.  But, in the meantime, I don't have the tools or do any editing myself.  BTW, I agree 100% about a bad picture hurting you in advertising & that is why I decided to play it safe & poll this board.  I liked them all, but I wanted to be sure & send the best one & all of them had some minor flaws, IMHO.  I am getting really good advice in this thread & I appreciate it! 
 

DLD

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I'm going to agree that #1 is the best, especially in terms of light and clarity, but #2 and #3 do have the advantage of making her shoulder and chest floor appear smoother and cleaner. I think her front legs are just a bit too far forward in those 2 shots, making for a slightly un-natural stance. I agree that it'd be better with a black halter and without the panel, too, but still overall good shots of a very nice heifer.
 

Jill

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TJ when you get the RR web site up, please let me know.  My dad just retired from the BNSF, he worked for Santa Fe all of his life, my oldest son is a train nut and has quite a collection we would be interested in seeing the site.  Thanks, Jill
 

TJ

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DLD said:
I'm going to agree that #1 is the best, especially in terms of light and clarity, but #2 and #3 do have the advantage of making her shoulder and chest floor appear smoother and cleaner. I think her front legs are just a bit too far forward in those 2 shots, making for a slightly un-natural stance. I agree that it'd be better with a black halter and without the panel, too, but still overall good shots of a very nice heifer.

Thanks, DLD!  I appreciate your comments! 
 

TJ

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Rocky Hill Simmental said:
I voted for #1. You can really see her shine in that picture and her legs are set up nice. 

She's a nice looking heifer.

Thanks, Rocky Hill! 
 
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